Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You are invited (Part Deux!)

Artists Celeste Bergin, Quin Sweetman and George Broderick explore places that exist in reality as well as in imagination with their new exhibit, “Under the Sky”. The show opens with a reception on Sunday, September 4, 1pm-6pm and the public is invited.

ART EXHIBIT DATES: September 1 – September 30, 2011

RECEPTION: Sunday, September 4, 2011, 1:00-6:00 pm

LOCATION: Broderick Gallery 313 East "B" St. Rainier. OR 97048

Gallery hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am - 5pm and by appointment.

About Broderick Gallery:

The Broderick Gallery is geared toward an interdisciplinary interpretation of art and committed to a culturally inclusive viewpoint. Exhibitions focus on international, national and regional art developments chiefly in the 20th century and seek to present the cultural and historical context of art. Hours are Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm and by appointment. For more about the gallery and its artists, please see or call George Broderick, 503-703-5188

(click to enlarge) See you there! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You are Invited!

For the 2nd year I am indeed the Curator of the Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition and Exhibit. This is my annual goof-off photo, but hanging the work is very serious business and I am grateful to the volunteers (Eric J, Mike R, Bill S, Todd S,  Eric V, Cathleen R, Dave B,  Karen W, and Rhonda-last-name-initial-unknown) who did an outstanding job of making sense of 200+ plein air paintings. So, now the next thing is that the artists and the art appreciators must come to the reception (Yes.....that's you!)  Find out about it all HERE.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day Five, Submission Art Day and meeting up with Joe, Sue & Gregg

Today was the day we turned in our plein air art to the Columbia Art Gallery. We were scheduled to paint in Downtown Hood River, but I didn't see anyone painting on the streets. I finally ran into Joe Howard and he told me he was meeting up with Gregg Caudell at the Woman's Forum Overlook in Corbett. I decided to see what the weather was there. When I arrived I could see that it would be a no-go for painting..totally socked-in. Gregg and Joe decided to skip the painting also and so we all stood in the parking lot, discussing the Group of Seven. Gregg told us about his new extra-length paint brushes that he learned about from Simon Kogan. (There is a short slide show up about the final day...go have a look at it HERE).

(Top photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, (From my archives) Yellow House in Downtown Hood River, oil on 8x8 canvas panel (2006) SOLD

(L to R, Gregg, Joe and Sue Howard, Me). Gregg shows his extra-length paintbrush

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Plein Air, Day Four, Gorge Crest Vineyard, August 28, 2011

When I first started painting one of my painting instructors complained that my painting was "brushy". I am sorry to report that today I was again guilty as charged (years later). Funny how one can fall back so easily on whatever their really bad habit is.  Well, I'll take solace in the color notes I put down, and the day at Gorge Crest Vineyard was superb... despite the fact my plein air painting effort is unbloggable.
When I got home I put together my paintings for submission tomorrow. (There is one more day of painting; the final day's location is Downtown Hood River). Our paintings are due in the Gallery by 5pm. I'm ready! I edited well and I've got good paintings to submit. To see a slide show of Day four...go HERE.

Top photo: my paintings, ready for submission, (paperwork complete too)!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Plein Air, Day Three, Mosier Plateau, August 27, 2011

What a great day! I saw so many artist friends and the writers were out in force today too. (Writers have their own competition that is part of the overall event also). I got to the location late-ish...many of the artists had been painting for quite awhile before I got there. As I traipsed around the sun got brighter and hotter!  After a leisurely lunch at 10 Speed Coffee in Mosier, I finally located a perfect shady spot.  It's days like today that I feel so fortunate to live in Oregon! Have a look at the Day three slide show HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the Gorge, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Friday, August 26, 2011

Plein Air, Day Two, "Pebble Beach", August 26, 2011

I got to "Pebble Beach" at around 10:15am today. (You won't find golfers at this Pebble's in Stevenson, WA). I painted two small paintings that were both unsatisfactory, but after lunch, on the way home I did another...a "sky" painting that shows how the clouds were communicating with the sun.  To see images of day two....go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Big Sky, oil on 8x6 canvas panel

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Plein Air, Day One, The Gorge White House, August 25, 2011

Today was Day one of the Pacific NW Plein Air 2011 Competition and Exhibition. At 8:30am we were welcomed to the event by Columbia Art Gallery and we received our "ditty bag" of art supplies (....always popular with all the artists)! Shortly thereafter we were set loose to paint the scenery. I settled on a house nestled in the trees. (I also painted a pear hanging in a tree, just for fun). There's a slide show of the day: HERE!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Home in Hood River, oil on 10x8 canvas panel

Study: Celeste Bergin, Pear, oil on 6x6 canvas panel

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Today I got all my gear ready for the Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2011 Competition and Exhibition. This is the 7th annual event and I've been so lucky to participate in all of them! When I gathered up my equipment this afternoon I thought back to the first year and remembered how I took way too much stuff. I've got it pared down considerably and I'm experienced enough now that I am confident I do have everything I need. It's fun to get ready now, instead of nerve racking like it was the first year. 

I had lunch today with an art friend, Jim King! In my "former life", I and all my art director/graphic artist pals had a hero worship thing for anyone who graduated from the Art Center College. Well, guess what...that is where Jim was educated. No wonder all Jim's paintings have such beautiful composition and strong design. Jim and I talked over lunch about the importance of drawing. It doesn't matter that Jim draws absolutely expertly...he still "practices" every week. I vow to adopt a similar attitude. 

Hope your Wednesday was a good one. Mine was great!
Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the Field, oil on 10x8 canvas panel

Jim King in his Studio

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If it's Tuesday...this must be Belgium!

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, My Sony Camera, watercolor and ink on 6x9 paper

One has to be a certain vintage to "get" the title of this post (all right, I'll tell you, it is the title of an old movie). Tuesdays are art filled days, starting at O'Connor's for the PPASP meeting and then culminating at Carolyn's for further talk and sketching. My little workhorse "Sure Shot" Sony camera is only operational about 75% of the time, but luckily I have another Sony camera in my tote bag for "back up". I take a lot of pictures every day.
I feel compelled to also share a video link with you today. My high school friend Georgi sent it to me in an email. If you are young you will miss the irony that these Japanese youngsters in the video are playing swing music that was popular during the time America was at war with the Japanese. (No, I wasn't around for WWII, but my Mom was). Watch the video HERE.
(Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were never any war...?)

Monday, August 22, 2011


It may not seem like it, but there is a fair amount of red in this Eric Jacobsen says: "Red is the great modifier".

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Evening light, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oil Study

Just a plein air oil study to establish colors and shapes....warming up for Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2011 in the Columbia River Gorge... (beginning this week!) Remember, even if you are not competing in the actual event, if you are a plein air painter you can come out and paint at the same locations where we will be. You can find the list of places with dates: HERE.

Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Summer, oil on 10x10

Friday, August 19, 2011

......Glazed over

Well, I had every confidence that I could apply color over the top of "Outdoor Painter" and have a good result. Alas! I forgot that "you can't win them all."  I worked on it today, and it completely TANKED. Fortunately, it is no big deal to remove wet paint off of an underpainting, so I did that and set it aside to take another run at it another time. I was still pretty invested in the idea of glazing on top of dry painting, so I added a blue layer to this older study that I did several months ago. I think the blue added some interest and dimension. 

Oil Study: Celeste Bergin, Rain in the City, 9 x 12, oil on canvas panel

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I meant to get right to the color layer on the "Outdoor Painter" in the last post....but it got so late in the day I decided against it. I painted a floral instead. I'll save the 2nd phase of Wednesday's painting for tomorrow. It is good to be flexible...and it is equally good to have plans!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Floral, oil on 12 x 16

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another underpainting

I thought I'd paint with Fastmatte again today and do another 2-step painting. I think it will be interesting to apply color over the top of this!

Underpainting: Celeste Bergin, Outdoor artist, oil on 9 x 12 stretched canvas

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sketching after the PPASP meeting at Carolyn's (August 16, 2011)

Every day is a great day....but Tuesdays are extra-great! I always love the art discussion at the PPASP meeting and afterwards Carrie & I went to "the meeting after the meeting" at Carolyn's.....where we talked........ about the meeting! (The art discussions just don't seem to end). While we talked we sketched things found in and around Carolyn's kitchen and you can see what we did HERE. Say, what was your day like?

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Carolyn's bird feeder, Graphite on 6x9 paper

Monday, August 15, 2011


Painting: Celeste Bergin, On the Farm, oil on 12x12 stretched canvas

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Here's the 2nd stage of my two stage painting. I might put a glaze over the whole painting after it dries....but for the most part I'll call it complete.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Moonlit Villa, oil on 10x10 stretched canvas

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another underpainting

The last underpainting was I thought I'd do another one with some close values. I have three Fastmatte samples, so I used those again for this night scene (from a photo reference). Once again, I will paint over the top of this tomorrow. I could have completed this tonight (Fastmatte dries quite fast),  but it is interesting for me to come back to it another day (I don't generally work in 2 stages).

Underpainting: Celeste Bergin, Moonlit Villa, oil on 10x10 stretched canvas

1. These are the Fastmatte colors I have, Ultramarine blue, Transparent Red Oxide and White.

2. Sectioning off the canvas into 3rds

 3. Sketching in the most important design features

4. Continuing to place simple shapes 

5. Underpainting with the values I'll use in the finish tomorrow...(see you then!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Part 2 of a 2 stage painting

This is part two of my experiment with Gamblin underpainting paint (Fastmatte). I simply painted colors over yesterday's effort. I so seldom do a very finished underpainting, but I could certainly see why some artists want to. It's clear that the values are "set" strongly in the preliminary work. I'm not sure this type of thing fits my painting personality, however.  I've been a "direct" painter from the start (meaning, I paint "all at once"). We'll see, because I will try this again in the future!

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Villa, oil on 10x10 stretched canvas

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday....a great day!

My day began at Jam on Hawthorne where I had a "business meeting". (Business is decidedly more fun when waffles are involved). After the meeting I got a tour at Gamblin Artist Colors. Scott Gellatly. the Product Manager, gave us a tour of the whole plant and in the end we discussed the new Fastmatte oil paints. Fastmatte dries quickly and that should make underpaintings a snap. Not only can you do an underpainting faster, you can do it with a variety of 8 colors. We got a gift of three paints to try out for ourselves and when I got home I painted the underpainting above. Tomorrow I will add color on top of the's all an experiment! (Special note to all my PPASP-er friends, Scott has not forgotten that he promised our group a tour! He is working on the date and I'll put it on our calendar as soon as I know). So that was my was YOURS?!

Underpainting: Celeste Bergin, Villa, oil on 10x10 stretched canvas

Waffles at Jam
Batches of Yellow at Gamblin
A worker is making Ivory Black
Ahh, scads of paint!
Fastmatte! (Gamblin's new product)
This is a brand new structure, part of an overpass near Gamblin

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Just a "guy" from a reference.....for practice for today....Wednesday!

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Bearded man, oil on 8 x 10 canvas panel

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sketch day

Tuesdays are always so much fun! I went to the breakfast meeting, then we went to Carolyn's for sketching. After all that I got to go pick up my beloved car "Honey" from Reborn Automotive. They did a wonderful job on her and she is running like new! I'm so excited because they told me they feel very confident she will pass DEQ. One might think at 36 years old that she would be exempt from emissions testing...but no. Honey is a 1975 (the very first year emission control requirements "began") so she'll never be exempt! It's always a challenge to get her through that test. Well, it was fabulous to get her back today...welcome home, Honey! xoxoxoxoxo!

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Carolyn's Flats, watercolor & ink on 9x12 paper
Bottom photos: "Honey"

Monday, August 8, 2011


I painted this from a previous oil study...and I used a fair amount of Manganese blue.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Working Late, oil on 9 x 12 canvas panel

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday .....!

A few years ago in Tacoma, WA I saw a paper sculpture of Frida Kahlo. This is a sketch from a photo of it. She had a hand for an earring. Her face had "grommets", paper wads and squares that shaped the whole thing. I'm sure my sketch of it doesn't read correctly....but I enjoyed trying to translate the odd shapes.
What about you...have you done something artful today?

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Kahlo, pencil on 6x9 paper

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Here's one of my paintings that was sold at "Art in the Heart" (Thanks, Kevin!)  It didn't get sunny today until late afternoon..but that was perfect because overcast weather is great for looking at art outdoors. I met loads of new people and it was fun to compare notes with the other artists around me. In a conversation I had with one of my heros, Oleg Ulitskiy, I asked: "Why are Russian Painters so good?" He replied: "Long history, dating back hundreds and hundreds of years. Rigorous Schools. Working hard".  (I know all this, but it is extra cool to hear it said in a Russian accent).  I was also able to catch up with uber-talented plein air painters Mike Rangner and Mike Lindstrom too. Thanks for having me, Art on the Boulevard......I had a blast!

(Top) Painting: Celeste Bergin, White Flowers, oil on 9 x 10 stretched canvas  (SOLD)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Art in the Heart, August 5 & 6 (Friday & Saturday)

Here is my "outdoor gallery" for Art in the Heart with Art on the Boulevard. I got to visit with lots of art appreciators during First Friday today and I'll be back tomorrow from 10 to 4! Come out and see me and all the other artists...!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I'm on Jury Duty!  During our lunch break today I walked to Art Media and bought some new pens. I tested them out by scratching out a few people before going back to work at the Courthouse. I had the coolest urban (slash) cyber experience yesterday, I noticed someone on the street only to find out later that he "knew" me from our respective blogs! I've embarrassed him, I am sure, by flat out telling him that I took special note of him because he is a "dashing" figure (but he is). Find out his side of the story HERE. (He's a fantastic artist....check out his amazing portrait of Caio).

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, People at Lunch, pen on 6x9 paper